Monday, August 19, 2013
When in moments of intense suffering and uncertainty you are in the crucible with God or a captive of the devil. In the crucible or your captivity, either will impose pain but it's purpose rests in the eyes of the beholder. Both will produce a fate whose product rests in the selection of your master, God or the devil. Pray your choice is accurate for the sake of purification and refinement into something precious.
This past weekend I had the tremendous privilege of speaking to several teenagers and young adults at a couple of juvenile detention centers. What a tremendous day and opportunity. From the start of my week of preparation it was obvious to me there was a battle raging between good and evil. I felt uneasy and restless. The devil surely intends on keeping his captives, while God the father desires to set captives free. My only remedy was to immediately call upon an army of prayer warriors to cover the full week with prayers.
The battle is real and the day of the event only seems to solidify that reality. That morning as I literally began my setup for speaking to the young lives in the detention facility, my computer failed to boot-up. After multiple attempts, we prayed and I spoke without it. My travel to the next location required some extended time and I continually tried to boot-up my computer with no success. Upon my arrival at the next location I was immediately informed most of my audience would not attend due to the lock-down of several resident halls. An incident occurred that morning. The devil is intent on holding his captives.
I asked my host if I could use his computer which was working perfectly fine as we commenced setup. Twenty minutes later, although the computer acknowledges the existence and installation of my external drive we could not locate my files. With the audience in wait, the solution required the use of a third and slightly remote computer in order to access my files. Finally, all of my tools were available as designed. Due to time constraints we could not engage in worship songs to prepare our hearts. With a short intro I began to speak immediately. The end result was approximately 70% of my audience stood to rededicate their lives to Christ and fill a firstborn son role for their family. Each person also committed to build a new personal and family legacy.
The view and perspective of our personal crucible is powerfully critical at every moment we spend within. A crucible is a place or occasion of severe test and trial. A crucible is a place of intense and concentrated heat used to purify and refine precious minerals such as gold and silver. The juveniles had to realize their crucible (confinement) is for purification and refinement, not merely detention for their failures. As such, each person's fate or the product of the crucible is dependent on which master (God or devil) he serves. The same also goes for the legacy (family and personal) each detainee leaves, especially upon departure from detention.
The Apostle Paul gives us an image of the ultimate end goal, the victor's crown in 2 Timothy 4:6-8. Paul also does a masterful job of revealing to us his personal crucible of shipwrecks, imprisonment, robberies, and more in 2 Corinthians 11:21-29. Mature Christians understand the purpose of suffering, while the world is confused about suffering as is revealed by King David's situation in 2 Samuel 12:15-23. David's servants could not understand his behavior of relief following the death of his child for which he had spent days fasting and praying for healing.
We must allow our personal crucible, whatever it may be, to achieve its designed purpose with proper perspective, and in submission to the one true Master, God the Father.
Monday, August 12, 2013
This article is a contribution to the INNER PEACE PARENTING magazine August, 2013 edition produce out of Turin, Italy. The edition is a contribution of over sixty worldwide parenting professionals and The Global Presence Ambassadors of Parenting 2.0. Parenting 2.0 seeks to raise humanity collaboratively and consciously.
Start today and implement a “statement of identity and vision”, a social legacy for your family.
Build Successful Family Legacy
“Successful Family Legacy” is the comprehensive solution to the structural & social breakdown of society caused by the growing number of broken families.
As a father and important community leader, Eli chose to engage in passive parenting of his sons Hophni and Phinehas. The sons’ grave abuse of Eli’s position and legacy saw them repeatedly take advantage of the people he led. Eli refused to impose strong consequences upon his sons for their behavior. His only response appeared to be conversations which carried no weight or merit. The evidence was his son’s refusal to obey his words or correct their behaviors.
When a behavioral concern is brought before some parents regarding their children, they expect a mere conversation is sufficient as oppose to a more decisive and necessary approach. These parents choose the proverbial “look the other way” response. Eli’s behavior resulted in the lost lives of his sons, himself, and consequently his legacy or family lineage.
Passive parents produce a generation of tyrants and selfish adults. Overprotective parents produce a generation of socially and intellectually handicapped adults. There has to be a balance of authoritative engagement on the part of parents, and an embrace of submissive responsibility on the part of children.
Here’s an observation. When it is time to lose weight we seek out a personal trainer or a diet regimen. The necessity of that decision lies in the need for structure, on-going evaluation, and accountability through the process. We write a business plan at the beginning of a promising venture for the benefit of clarity regarding the structure and purpose we pursue. Do we have a similar vehicle for creating our successful family now, and ushering our legacy of social behavior to future generations?
My siblings and I vividly remember my father’s words in our moments disobedience or errors. Those words, especially to our mother who expected a stricter response, were “Let the children shoulder (handle) their problems.” He created an environment to teach personal responsibility and accountability amongst his children. Although memorable when dealt, his direct disciplinary actions were a last resort if we refused to correct our behaviors.
Today in my home the common phrase is “Bambolos behave …”, or “Bambolos don’t cheat or lie.” As early as three years old our children begin to repeat that phrase and take ownership of the fact that family responsibility and unity supersedes personal happiness. We are committed to conduct ourselves in a manner which honors the family. Such a conviction must be first consistently demonstrated by husband and wife, mother and father, or adult leadership.